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Commissioner candidates to go head-to-head tonight

October 22, 2012 1:18 PM
By Daniel Owens in Northampton Chronicle and Echo
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Paul varnsverry 4Concerns over the rising levels of rural crime are expected to be top of the agenda at a hustings event tonight organised by farmers ahead of next month's Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to quiz the candidates as they go head-to-head at the debate, being held at the Hunsbury Hill Centre in Harksome Hill, Northampton at 7pm.

People can quiz the candidates on all issues concerning the police and how they plan to shape the future of the force should they be elected.

The discussion will chaired by Northamptonshire farmer and vice chairman of NFU's Leicestershire, Northants and Rutland branch, Richard Harris.

Mr Harris said: "Living in more isolated locations around the county, crime is a constant worry for us and our families. With police budgets being cut and manpower reduced, it seems that rural Northamptonshire is a prime target for thieves.

"The increasing levels of metal thefts, burglaries and machinery thefts are worrying as are the higher incidences of anti-social crimes such as fly-tipping and increasingly, fly grazing.

"We hope that this NFU-organised meeting will allow the candidates in the November 15 election to hear at first hand about the issues facing people who live in Northamptonshire's villages and rural areas.

"And it will give an opportunity for the candidates to set out their views on how they will tackle rural policing issues if they are elected."

The meeting is being opened to people who live and work in the countryside and who have issues about crime in their locality.

NFU members will be joined by candidates including Adam Simmonds (Con), John Norrie (Independent), Paul Varnsverry (Lib Dem) and Jim MacArthur (UKIP).

The elections for the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner will be held on November 15 and will give the public the chance to help shape the future of the running of Northamptonshire Police.